A scoop on a long-term plan by the Indian military has revealed that India is aiming to equip its armed forces to ‘move from the current stage of dissuasion to deterrence against China’.
The report by a leading Indian news channel says that China will be the focus of the Defence Ministry’s 15-year integrated perspective plan which will be in force from 2012 to 2027.
India and China occupied Tibet share a 3488 km long disputed border which was the cause of a short but bloody war in 1962. Since then, the two Asian giants have shared uneasy military ties with a series of border talks failing to yield much result.
The report notes that by 2020, India plans to form a new dedicated mountain strike corps of over 90,000 men, stationed in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as its territory and in Ladakh, parts of which China still occupies.
The 15-year plan gives top priority to infrastructure along the border, including the construction of metalled roads and revamping of advanced airbases along the border. “Nyoma air base, barely 25 km from the Line of Actual Control”, the report said, “will eventually have Su-30 combat jets stationed there”.
Last year, India had to stop all construction along the border in Ladakh after a confrontation with Chinese soldiers.
The revelations come on the heels of a week-long defence talks between India and China which concluded Saturday. The eight-member Indian delegation was reported as describing the visit successful but abstained from giving any information on the content and outcomes of the meetings.
The delegation which visited Beijing, Urumqi, and Shanghai, came a year after India suspended high-level defence exchanges in July last year as a protest against China’s refusal to issue proper visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal as he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir.
China is the second largest spender on military in world with an official military budget of about US$91.5 billion, a 12.7% rise from 2010.